Home cooked dinners every evening? Definitely don’t have time for that. An hour of exercise seven days a week? Never gonna happen. Drop 10kg before the next holiday? Keep dreaming.

We’ve all heard it: “Just eat healthy and exercise.” UGHHH! If only it was that simple. Even if you’ve stocked up on veggies, booked a week of classes at your favourite spin studio, and invested in brand spanking new workout leggings at the beginning of January; let’s be blunt, it’s not easy to stick to all of that.

Here’s the good news: Major overhauls aren’t actually necessary. Research shows that drastic change leads to failure 75% of the time. Remember, every change in life begins with a single step. Taking small steps towards healthier eating today can help you to reap big rewards tomorrow. For example, just one extra piece of fruit per day will lead to 365 pieces in one year. That’s a lot more vitamins and antioxidants than before, don’t you think?!

The key to not getting side-tracked (so that one cookie doesn’t become the entire jar!) is to get back on track by making the next healthy choice. That’s it! You don’t have to alter your schedule or change your to-do list. Instead make the next healthy choice. Maybe add more veggies to your next lunch? Totally doable, right?

Keen to get started? Here are a few small steps to a healthier you:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast. This will jump start your metabolism.
  • Don’t have an “all or nothing approach.” A few off-plan choices make very little difference in the long run as long as you balance them with healthy foods.
  • Size does matter. Instead of labelling foods as “off limits” which only makes you want it more, start by reducing portion sizes and how often you indulge in it.
  • Eat off smaller plates. As a rule, we tend to eat more when our plates are bigger.
  • Make vegetables the main feature of meals, taking up half of your plate, with only small portions of starchy veggies like potato, sweet potato and corn. Eating plenty of vegetables and a few pieces of fruit per day will help you to feel full, reducing the need for unhealthy extras. Recommended servings are 5 servings for women and six for men.
  • Swap simple carbs for complex carbs. Gradually remove processed foods, refined carbs and sugary foods from your diet – swap white breads, pastas and rice for whole meal and whole grain options.
  • Limit alcohol. To decrease cancer risk and help maintain a healthy weight, women should have no more than one drink per day, men two.
  • Love what you eat. If you hate kale, try spinach or rocket, or even beets instead. Depriving yourself of all the foods you love will lead to failure.
  • Change to healthy cooking methods – try steaming, poaching, stir frying and roasting.
  • Its not just what you eat, it’s how you eat. Be mindful and remind yourself that you are nourishing your body with every mouthful.
  • If you indulge, burn it off. Burn the calories by running, playing sports or walking briskly, whatever it takes.
  • Guzzle H2O. Don’t confuse hunger with thirst. The benefits include increased energy, regulating appetite and improved digestion.

So, ditch the fads. Look past the quick fix to long-term solutions to improve your health (and weight) all year round.

After all, life is about living, not obsessing.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com.au, www.ksl.com, www.livescience.com, www.redbookmag.com, jamesclear.com, www.womanshealthmag.com, www.womanshealthnetwork.com, awomanshealth.com, vitalhealth.com.au, ellymcguiness.com, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, pickanytwo.net, healthline.com, zenhabits.net, heart.org, mitoq.com, mybodytutor.com  

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.